Schultz Environment Blog

Environment in a broad sense,transports and energy issues. From my local point of view with a global touch!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Oil-money from Sweden

In the beginning of this year, five of the Swedish Pension Insurance Funds owned shares for 15 billion SEK in companies involved in the Canadian project which aims at prospecting oil sand according to the Swedish newspaper DN. The government of Alberta, Canada, forecasted that the emission of greenhouse gases will be about 400 million tonnes in 2050, mostly because of the oil sand industry. That could be compared with the Swedish emission at 70 million tonnes last year.

Once more it is shown that economical interests and environmental interests must be handled in the same manner. I mean the official attitude in Sweden is to lower the emission of greenhouse gases, then, it’s most important that the Swedish Pension Insurance Funds doesn’t go another way around to get higher outcome of the capital and rises the emissions of greenhouse gases some other place on Earth.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Soil management

Often you can read about pollution of air or water, but not that often about pollution of the soils. Yet, there have been a lot of pollution of the soils during history. In a municipality we often work with polluted grounds and when somebody wants to build apartments or offices they must take responsibility for cleaning up the ground.

Climate changes may also release a lot of carbon stored in the soil. I saw a figure that around 70 billion tonnes of organic carbon are stored in Europe’s soils. This carbon has been stored in the soils for a very long time but may be released by the rising temperatures. The way the land and soils are managed can mean a lot for how they will emit the carbon, with following higher carbon dioxide percentage in the atmosphere. For example will longer crops rotation reduce the carbon emissions while deeper ploughing reduces diversity and earthworms, while grassy field margins will enhance soil biodiversity.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Local meeting about transport plan

Today I attended a local meeting about making a local traffic plan. We already have a Transport strategy which talks about what to do and stating a vision for the local transports. This new traffic plan will deal about how to reach these goals in the transport strategy. The meeting today was a kind of referendum with many of the different stakeholder’s organisations but also the different departments in the municipality. A consultancy talked about experience from different other cities in Sweden and we had a discussion about traffic problems we see in our own city. So far so good.

It is often easy to set up the vision and the goals in the strategy but when it comes to reality in how to reach the goals, what priorities to make; it usually becomes a bit harder to get the decisions from the politicians. Then it becomes a little more “realistic” measures. Lets hope this will not happen in our case so that we can keep to the strategy.